[sf-lug] Christian's School Project

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Mon Jun 16 12:52:54 PDT 2008


On Sun, Jun 15, 2008 at 10:43 PM, Andrew Fife <afife at untangle.com> wrote:

> I went over to visit Christian's F/OSS computer lab at the school this
> morning with Tom Belote.  I have to say its really inspiring to see what
> Christian has got going over there.

Thanks a lot, Andrew!

And folks, I have to say that it is really fun doing this work, too.  How
long have we all been waiting for complete and total newbies to come to us
with a request to help them use Linux?  For me, it is a nice change from
when I was just first starting to use GNU-Linux, and I was talking with
people everywhere about computers and trying to gradually steer the
conversation around to Linux and the importance of freedom in cyberspace.

In my experience, most people are bored by discussions of freedom in
cyberspace, until they get their hands on a GNU-Linux computer and use it
for a while.  It really takes people a while to get why it is cool.

At the school, neither the kids nor the teachers really "get" why this stuff
is important in a Stallmanesque kind of way.  It's not that they say, oh, it
is so cool that we can create a community and improve the code and take
control of our binary destiny!  Instead, they do appreciate the fact that
the lab is the only room in the school where the teachers can bring an
entire class and have each student get an Internet terminal to do their
research or type up their papers.

AFAIK, no one by Jim Stockford and James Burgett have been over to the
school to see the kids using the lab.  Anyone who would like to come over to
the school to see the kids using the lab, please just let me know.  We will
need to coordinate it with the teachers ahead of time, of course, but we
could certainly do it.

Also, the kids are required to take Saturday school classes on an average of
once every three weeks or so.  That is a great opportunity to show kids how
to do stuff on Linux.  Next year, I am planning to have Saturday school
classes in which the parents will come in with their kids to get training on
how to use Linux.  So anyone who wants to join in on that project should
please feel free to email me and let me know!  I am happy to coordinate
those classes and other similar stuff here on the SF-LUG server or wiki, or
we could do it on the Digital Tipping Point wiki, wherever this community
would feel most at home.

> While Christian and I were blabbing about how to save the world, Tom got
> audio and video working across the network.  Its not perfect because the
> server can only support aprox 5 thin clients watching Youtube at the same
> time.

Right, but it was an important diagnostic breakthrough.  Now we know what
_can_ be done, and why it was not working before, and what our options are.

And it's really true.  Tom is such a wizard, it was really a pleasure to see
him work.  He just sat down there quietly while Andrew and I were blabbing
like it was a beer hall, and boom, Tom got lots of work done.  I did learn a
bit, though, as I always do from hanging out and looking over the shoulder
of a guru like Tom.

> Tom also got software running that lets teachers see what each student is
> doing on their clients... can't remember what it was called though.

I think it is called Client Network Manager.  It comes standard with
Edubuntu, AFAIK.

> For anyone that hasn't had the chance to make it over to the school, I'd
> definitely encourage you check it out.

Thanks again for coming over to the school, Andrew!  Untangle.com (and
ACCRC.org) has really been good to the Bay Area FOSS community.  In fact, we
have given out a lot of the boxes that were configured during the March 1
installfest, and Robert Scott of Untangle.com was the guy who was basically
leading up the school installfest site.

And Untangle and ACCRC are doing another massive installfest at LinuxWorld
Expo in San Francisco this August, for those who don't know about it:


c u
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